Timberwolves fire Tom Thibodeau, waive James Nunnally

Heather Diaz
January 10, 2019

While the timing of the decision is confusing given Minnesota just won a lopsided 108-86 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers earlier in the day, it has been a long time coming.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have chose to fire Tom Thibodeau.

And Saunders, the son of the late Timberwolves coaching legend Flip Saunders, will be the leader players look to make that run happen.

Within the last few hours the Timberwolves have fired Thibodeau, who was both the head coach and team president.

Ryan Saunders will serve as the Timberwolves' interim head coach moving forward, while Scott Layden is the team's general manager.

"After the trade happened, there was little bit of energy and life in the team", Minneapolis Star-Tribune Timberwolves writer Chris Hine said on Ferrall on the Bench.

"I said let's let it go and see how things worked", Taylor said.

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"I think all of this was kind of a critical mass for (Timberwolves owner) Glen Taylor to say, 'Something is just not working here". "Maybe one of those games".

Rose said he was shocked and hurt by the dismissal, but also insisted the change wouldn't hinder his resurgence.

Thibodeau took over in Minnesota in April 2016. He was named the NBA Coach of the Year on May 1, 2011, after tying the record for most wins by a rookie head coach with 62.

Thibodeau entered the season on the hot seat, which is why he was desperately trying to keep Jimmy Butler rather than trade him.

Former Chicago Bulls and Iowa State Cyclones head coach Fred Hoiberg told ESPN on Monday that he'd prefer to stay in coaching - at either the college or pro level - rather than return to an National Basketball Association front-office role. Minnesota then tried to fix the problem by shipping Butler to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for young, excellent players in Dario Saric and Robert Covington.

The Timberwolves will play their first game without Thibodeau tonight at 8 P.M. EST against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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